NEW DELHI: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government over the midnight crackdown on protesting Pune film institute students and arrest of five of them, and said FTII is a "symbol" of what is happening across the country.
Claiming "our creativity is being suppressed and crushed" under what he called "RSS/BJP education model", Rahul said that "FTII is a symbol. It is happening across the country", and told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the protesting students were not criminals who needed to be arrested in a midnight crackdown.
"Protesting FTII students arrested in midnight crackdown. Our students are not criminals, Modiji. Silence. Suspend. Arrest: Modi Mantra for Ache Din," the Congress Vice President said on Twitter earlier in the day.
Rahul said the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh was not just a case of corruption, as many believe, but also reflected a systematic degradation in the education system, in the process of which many made money.
He alleged that people associated with RSS and BJP and those who believe in a particular ideology were being appointed in senior posts in higher educational institutes.
"You may call it the Madhya Pradesh model. You may call it RSS model, BJP education model...," Rahul told reporters in his Amethi parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
"They think they can suppress and crush our creativity...," he said, adding that the Congress party would take up the issue and support the FTII students.
"It was suppressed in OROP issue, now students of FTII are being threatened. The students told us that they were being internally threatened everyday... They think that our creativity and ability could be crushed," Rahul said.
Rahul had visited the FTII in Pune in July to express solidarity with the protesting students demanding removal of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman.
The Congress Vice President's reference to "silence" on his tweet was apparently to the Prime Minister's silence on the opposition demand for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the wake of the Lalit Modi controversy and that of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan over the Vyapam scam.
The reference to "suspend" related to the suspension of 25 Congress member of Lok Sabha in the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament for repeatedly disrupting proceedings while seeking action in the Lalit Modi case and Vyapam scam.
In a midnight swoop, police arrested five students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, charging them with rioting and other offences in connection with the gherao of director Prashant Pathrabe.
The students on strike for the last 69 days against appointment of BJP member and TV actor Gajendra Chauhan as the institute chairman, had gheraoed Pathrabe on Monday evening, challenging his decision to go ahead with the assessment of the incomplete diploma film projects of the 2008 batch.
The court also granted pre-arrest bail to 11 other students of the institute.
Police had named these students in the FIR based on Pathrabe's complaint, but they were not arrested.